Mark Garaway - ex-England fielding coach

"GripGrip as part of my coaching kit bag"

Mark Garaway - former England Assistant Coach

The Millfield Trial:

I used GripGrip on 25 pupils bats and monitored these players against another group of 25 pupils who did not have GripGrip on their bats.

In terms of measurable data it is not credible to use average and strike rate as evidence of the products impact as there are a number of elements can impact both positively and negatively on performances over a 2 month period so I decided to use a reported survey around the following areas:

  1. Stability of grip when striking the ball and holding the bat: players reported back that the bat grip and handle felt as one with no reports of the grip slipping or rotating during downswing and into contact. The contrast group reported 46 occasions where they felt that grip was compromised.
  2. Distraction management 1: the contrast group reported 31 occasions where they had to adjust the grip of the bat (which had crept up the handle) during an innings or in the nets. They reported that this broke their innings and reduced the number of balls received during net sessions as they made the adjustments. The GripGrip group did not report such distractions either in nets or in matches. This allowed the players to focus more on the things that matter in batting performance. It may be a little thing, yet mental focus is such a important element of batting as we all know.
  3. Distraction management 2: There were 18 separate occasions where a member of the contrast group reported that they were "significantly aware" that their grip was slipping up the bat handle during match play. It became their sole distraction and therefore, focus. All 18 occasions also reported that this awareness continued to build throughout the innings until 13 of the occasions led to the grip being adjusted at the end of an over. Seven of these report instances felt that the distraction of the grip slippage contributed to a dismissal and all of the players reported that shot execution was compromised through a combination of distraction and grip slippage in their hands during shot execution.

The marginal gains that were identified over this two month trial are:

  • Grip Stability
  • Power enhancement
  • Control enhancement
  • Distraction management (in both match play and net practice)

GripGrip is inexpensive and a 1.5 metre Pro Pack roll gives you seven applications so two rolls will cover your whole team and provide marginal gains from batters numbered 1 to 11.

GripGrip also helps coaches to increase their delivery skills in fielding practices. The other huge benefit that GripGrip presents to coaches is around their own performance when delivering balls into fielding practices using equipment such as the Fusion Skyer and the Gray Nicholls Cloudcatch.

A normal problem for the coach is the grip going up the bat handle during fielding sessions. One handed hitting and increased grip pressure makes grip slippage inevitable unless GripGrip is applied under the batting grip.

The norm for any coach is regular grip adjustments and a reduction in power and accuracy as the grip disappears up the handle. This reduces the effectiveness of the fielding session and limits player progression. I have noted that I can hit for longer and retain my own quality throughout sessions as I'm no longer distracted by the impact of a slipping grip.

If GripGrip is part of a coachʼs kit bag then the quality of fielding drills in this country will increase significantly. That excites me a lot!

Mark Garaway

Director of Cricket Coaching, Millfield School